QUEZON CITY, Aug. 5 (PIA) - The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) continues to engage with stakeholders as it conducted the 11th Virtual Townhall Meeting on August 3.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar welcomed the information officers of the national government, local government units, youth leaders, and the guests from Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Anti Red-Tape Authority (ARTA).
He said that the townhall meeting is a testament to the Duterte Administration's thrust of a participatory democracy, 'that is truly by the people, of the people and for the people.'
"Townhall meetings open the doors of households. With the intent to make the targeted communities responsive to the activities of the government perceived as relevant to their needs. The keywords are perceived, responsive and relevant," Andanar said.
Andanar gave assurance that the government will continue to facilitate the needs of the people, even as the country is still continuing its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, while trying to balance the recovery of the economy and protecting the health of the citizens in the process.
"The balancing act of providing livelihood simultaneously with providing healthy lives is equally challenging. The recovering of lives and the recovery of the economy are being done," he said.
He added that, "there is no turning back, no hesitation. And definitely no retreat. We have set the course of our collective townhall meetings, towards the participatory democracy, that is truly by the people, of the people and for the people. This is in effect, is the essence of Leading Forward."
Meanwhile, PIA Director-General, Ramon Cualoping III said that the townhall meetings conducted in the past, and to this day, are avenues for the government to counter the fake news that are proliferating, and explain their side on the current issues.
"We will try to explain bakit ho, sa panahong ito, marami pa ring fake news, marami pa ring haka-haka, marami pa ring pagdududa, so ngayon, itutuloy natin ang pag-explain, dahil lahat tayo ay dapat maging thought leaders," Cualoping said.
The virtual townhall meeting discussed the reversion of the Metro Manila and nearby provinces to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), as well as the reconciliation efforts of the Department with LGUs for the number of COVID patients who recovered discussed by Dir. Beverly Lorraine Ho of the Department of Health.
Dir. Justin Batocabe of the Department of Social Welfare and Development gave updates on the distribution of the Special Amelioration Program (SAP) while Director-General Jeremiah Belgica of ARTA discussed the momentum gained by the government through the RA 11032 or the Republic Act No 11032 or The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. (VQR/PIA-IDPD)